WildBear Entertainment, one of Australia’s leading producers of factual programming, continues its expansion by establishing WildBear Aotearoa in New Zealand, its first office outside Australia, and recruiting experienced executive producer, director and writer Craig Meade as its general manager.
Meade joins from NHNZ where he was head of production, responsible for its factual and documentary output as well as relationships with the wider international television industry. During his 15 years with the company he worked on programming for a wide range of broadcasters, including Gem Hunt for Travel Channel, I Survived 9/11 for A&E, Megastructures for National Geographic and A Year in the Wild: Scotland for Channel 5. Before this, as a freelance director/writer/producer, he helped spearhead the development of reality TV in Australia by developing House from Hell (which inspired Big Brother) and was then a director and showrunner on several major location formats such as The Mole, Treasure Island, Temptation Island and Celebrity Survivor.
As general manager and executive producer of Dunedin-based WildBear Aotearoa, Craig will report to WildBear Entertainment managing director Alan Erson. His remit is to help expand and deepen the slate in those specialist factual genres such as history, science and engineering and natural history, in which WildBear is already strong. Recent credits in these areas include The War that Changed the World for CCTV, Demolition Down Under for Mediawan/Network 10 and Two Scottish Vets for BBC Scotland/ABC.
Michael Tear, WildBear Entertainment’s CEO, comments: “We are delighted to add a new base to our business in New Zealand and to have such a distinguished and well-respected creative as Craig onboard as GM. Despite its relatively small population, New Zealand has produced a large number of excellent factual programmes over the years and has an impressive talent base. With Craig’s knowledge and expertise, we hope to successfully tap into both local ideas and talent to grow this new business and support WildBear Entertainment’s broader ambitions in the international marketplace.”
Craig Meade adds: “The opportunity to establish a new production base, with the full support of a thriving business, doesn’t come along every day. I am genuinely excited by this new role and the prospect of shaping something from the ground up to become a key contributor to the growing WildBear business. Aotearoa-New Zealand is a brilliant location for factual television production, and I am now looking forward to starting the development process here and connecting with other creatives across the country.”